CYCLING THE ARCACHON BAY (6 DAY/5 NIGHT-7 DAY/6 NIGHT)

  • France Tourism

Description From $ 1070.40

EVC11 Self-guided cycling tour around the Arcachon Bay

6 days – 5 nights or 7 days – 6 nights

 

From March to October. Please note, this region is extremely busy during the summer, it is recommended to reserve several months in advance for this period.

100 kilometres to discover the landscapes, fauna and flora of the Bassin: an authentic experience in a well-preserved natural environment…

The Bassin d’Arcachon is the only lake on the Aquitaine coast to have maintained an opening to the sea. Twice a day, the water of this inland sea is renewed by the tide through narrow channels. For many years only frequented by fishermen, the Bassin d’Arcachon became the kingdom of the oyster in the middle of the last century and its 84 km of beaches fringed with pine trees make it an original and privileged place, unique to the French coast. Delimited by the wild ocean to the west, the Bordeaux vineyards to the north and east, and by the huge Landes Forest to the south, the Bassin enjoys a mild climate where the invigorating aromas of the sea air and the pine trees mingle. The calm waters of the Bassin are the love of those who appreciate nature at its finest, where there are none of the dangers associated with ocean beaches and the temperature of the water is very pleasant. Through little ports with their coloured cabins; along the huge beaches; in the calm of the nature reserves for the birds and the pine forests; this walk is filled with the scent of sea air, the perfume of the pine trees, and mimosa and genet shrubs.

 

DAY 1: Arrive at ARCACHON, late afternoon.

An internationally renowned seaside town, Arcachon was born during the 19th century from the imagination of daring pioneers who staked their bets on the popularity of seaside bathing. Come and discover this city, the winter town and sumptuous villas from the second empire, its churches, its walks alongside the Bassin and its port.

Free dinner and evening.

Night and breakfast

 

DAY 2 OR 6 (flexible or depending on the availability):

ARCACHON – LA DUNE DU PYLA – ARCACHON. 25 km

This step is not included in the 7 days trip.

After breakfast, you will start your trip by cycling to the Pilat dune, the largest dune in Europe at 105 metres high, 2700 metres long and 500 metres wide. The dune, formed recently (only 35 metres high in 1855), is still not stable and moves towards the forest at a rate of 3 to 4 metres a year. Having left your bikes for a moment, you can climb to the summit using steps or by a marked path.

You will follow beaches on a magnificent track and you will join the “Pyla sur Mer” then Moulleau, a suburb to the west of Arcachon, a very lively place in summer with chic boutiques and trendy cafés.

You will be surprised by the Notre dame des Passes church, of byzantine style, built at the top of a sand dune by the Dominicans. It houses the Virgin of the Advent, one of the 3 statues in France representing a Virgin Mary pregnant.

You then return to Arcachon and your hotel.

Free dinner and evening.

Night and breakfast

 

DAY 3: ARCACHON – BIGANOS – ANDERNOS LES BAINS 25 to 30 km

You will take the train from Arcachon to Biganos with your bike.

From Facture Biganos station, you will progress towards the Port de Biganos and towards the Port des Tuiles.

You continue towards Audenge port where former basins are used as swimming pools.

Following the dykes of the Graveyron estate, with its fish reservoirs, you reach the castle. Having enjoyed the splendid views over the basin and watched the many species of migrating birds, you come back inland towards Cassy port using a wide shady path, by following the “Domaine de Certes”. You will cycle gently along the cycling track to Andernos Les Bains, a very pleasant seaside town.

For the evening you can enjoy a number of activities; bars overlooking the sea, a walk on the pier or the beach, or go for a walk alongside Andernos to the church at St Eloi as far as St Brice port.

Free dinner and evening.

Night and breakfast

 

DAY 4: ANDERNOS LES BAINS – LE GRAND CROHOT – ANDERNOS LES BAINS 37 km

A nice day in the big forest of Cap-Ferret: the pleasure to pedal accompanied by the cicadas’ song and the pine odours.

You will leave Andernos and will pursue your circuit between ocean and forest, along the fine sand beaches where the ocean comes to smash in magnificent rollers. After a well-deserved bathing, you will leave the beach and will take back your road through the national forest to join Lège-Cap-Ferret, then Ares, and finally Andernos. The vegetation is there different and replace the forest of pines which was along the ocean. You can make a stopping place for the hut of the résinier, a space of animation and discovery which you should not miss. You will cross the Oyster-farming port of Ares and will pursue then your trip towards the saint Brice's magnificent site, which mixes forest and natural bank of the “Bassin d’Arcachon”.

You can take advantage of a last stopping place in this peaceful place before taking back your road for Andernos.

Free dinner and evening.

Night and breakfast

 

DAY 5: ANDERNOS-LES-BAINS – LE CAP FERRET– ARCACHON 30 km

Cap Ferret separates the Atlantic Ocean on the West and the Bay of Arcachon in the East, offering an original geographical situation which allows to take advantage on one side of landscapes of the Bay of Arcachon, where from we observe the Pyla Dune and The “Banc d’Arguin”, and other one of the waves and the limitless  “Côte d’Argent”

You will leave Andernos and will join the hamlet of Jane de Boy, then you will take the track to discover the famous oyster fishing villages of Herbe and Canon.

This portion of the peninsula is enchanting: nature, preserved… the panoramic view on leaving the fishing village takes your breath away!

Take the time to absorb it all: the bird island, Arcachon in front and the Dune of Pilat... magic. Don’t forget to visit the Algerian chapel at Herbe... You leave Cap Ferret and cross the Bassin to return to Arcachon and your hotel. You’ll admire the sandbank “le banc d’Arguin” in the middle of the channels, the Bird Island and the famous wooden cabins on stilts. Return to your hotel from the landing stage.

Free dinner and evening.

Night and breakfast

 

DAY 6 or 2: ARCACHON – LE TEICH – ARCACHON 40 km

Leave Arcachon and take the cycling track via the Port of La Teste.

Leave the track and take the “7 oyster ports of Gujan-Mestras” small road that runs round the bay alongside the railway station.

You arrive at the oyster port Rocher passing by the “Salt marshes”, vast expanses uncovered by the sea and only covered up during Spring Tides. It is home to a special vegetation, refuge to a variety of fauna: crabs, shellfish and crustaceans, which are adored by many breeds of bird!

You enter Gujan-Mestras, capital of oyster fishing which boasts no less than 7 ports dedicated to oyster farming. You’ll discover its ports and wood cabins lined up along the channel where flat-bottomed boats are moored and a few “pinaces”… boats typical of the basin. You will see a few marshes with curious dug-out shelters one after the other for hunting the water game, before reaching the Teich bird park.

This natural reserve is set up to attract wild birds. The site offers various landscapes, from forests to prairies and lagoons. You will see many different breeds of birds including swans, grey herons, and little egrets as well as mating pairs of storks.

Return in your hotel at the end of the day.

Free dinner and evening.

Night and breakfast

 

DAY 7: ARCACHON.

End of the bicycle ride. Don’t leave Arcachon without having seen the winter town and the Moorish park.

 

6 Day/5 Night

without day 2

7 Day/6 Night
March–June / September-October $1070.40 $1211.20
July-August $1180.80 $1340.80

  

Included:

3 or 4 nights B&B in 3 star hotels and 2 nights in Auberge or 2 star hotel.

1 Boat crossing of the Bay

Luggage transfers

Route notes and detailed map

Locks, reparation equipment, saddle bags, helmet, bar bag

Assistance for the bike (for big damage).

 

Not included:

The bicycle (VTC).

Train transfer from Arcachon to Facture Biganos +/-Euro 5

Lunches and dinners

The entrance fees for visits

Personal expenses

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